Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Divine Eternal Reunion: Together Forever

 The Divine Eternal Reunion: Together Forever was envisioned by a nice man who commissioned me to paint it for him. This is his view of what heaven will be like and  as an artist it was my job to paint it as he saw it and what he wanted. That was a hard job! He called early one morning to discuss his idea and said he wanted me to work with him on this because he had seen some "spiritual" paintings I had done and trusted me with his idea. He explained that he had lost his beloved wife just three years earlier and wanted a painting of heaven and the reunion that we will all have at the coming of Christ. He began to share with me his idea of a painting of heaven based on Revelation 21:4.  I opened my bible and began to read the  verse. And God shall wipe away all of their tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall their be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.
We discussed the bright light and the colors of the rainbow and multitudes of people all hugging and being reunited with great joy. As an artist it is hard to not add your own ideas so I  got really into the angels and how Jesus would look and wanted to do a throne, a lion and a lamb. Later we both decided that it would best serve the idea of the painting if we left that off.  We talked about an angel pouring out all the prayers of the saints based on Psalms 56:8Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? and  also  Revelation 5:8And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. 


  The angel with the vessel was in the preliminary. But I have learned to (eventually.. LOL) listen to my client, as they always know what they want. The theme was supposed to be about the reunion, and I had gotten off track. I fixed it and in the last photo at the bottom of the page you may notice the angel is still in the painting, however he wings are gone and the vessel has been replaced, she is lovingly greeting a little girl. Which really makes much more sense in the whole scheme of things. This type of collaboration and change does not bother me at all. It is a a blessing to  be able to change something with only the swipe of a brush and  there is not a right or wrong. Painting should be fun like that, and I really mean it when I say the client always knows what is best.

With every face I touched with my brush I reflected on what the painting was supposed to depict. The client had made it clear he wanted everyone to be happy. If I wasn't having a happy day I found that I better not pick up the brush because any discontent I felt began to reflect in the faces of the people I painted. Isn't that the  way life is? We reflect what we are focused on and the faces around us reflect it back to us. I pondered friendships, relationships, family relationships.... as well as our relationships with angels and God.  Are there Guardian angels? Have they watched over us? Will they also greet us? What will the trumpets sound like? Do we realize there are eternal consequences to our actions? Notice the  little girl seen in the photo above, with her hands thrown up .. standing alone, apparently happy that being in Christ presence was joy enough? For some that says it all. For others, the fact that God gave us family, desires a relationship with us and encourages us to love one another speaks of a greater reunion. .... below on "read more" to see more photos of this painting....


The most important part of the painting was this....

 So here comes the point where the painting became a portrait. While we were still in the planning phase and no paint had hit the canvas, the client and I were talking about his wife whom he missed so desperately and I told him if he would send me a photo I could paint one of the women in heaven "in a likeness" of her. Not portrait quality, but a likeness. So this man, who I have yet to meet sends me the most beautiful photograph of the two of them renewing their vows a decade or so ago and I knew that I would have to add this image to the painting. It depicted the emotion and the vision of all that this man had described to me about his wife and the reason for this painting.I can not imagine that a painting of heaven would be complete for him with out the addition of the two of them together.

.... below on "read more ....


He wanted the words to Revelation at the bottom of the painting and we began to brainstorm how to add them. While we were talking I mentioned that I had seen paintings with Cherubs holding banners and he said his wife really loved cherubs so that became a part of his painting.
 We collaborated on this painting by phone and email, I sent him a preliminary, and then photos as I was working  but up until the day I brought him his preview painting we had not met. We made an appointment and the painting below  is the preliminary painting I showed him. I painted in hope that it was what he wanted based on what I felt he described  to me. He loved it but really wanted multitudes of people. I knew that this was so important to him and so back to the easel it went and I pondered how to add a multitude of people greeting and praising Jesus.
Preliminary painting is the one below the final one is the last on on the page, which includes the multitude.

The final based on the revisions and adding the  multitudes.

And last, but not least!  In the end he decided he wanted me to add the church where they renewed their vows. I looked at the photos he sent and  happily added it under the cross.  The church is an important part of the book of Revelation and so a reunion painting with out the church would not be complete. ✞


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